Everybody probably has a long list of what makes their flights unpleasant. At the top is the long waiting time before boarding a plane, but Airbus has an ingenious idea to considerably slash down that idle time.
The most recent patent that Airbus has gotten is easy to appreciate but hard to implement: removable cabins. What this innovation entails is that passengers will no longer need to wait a long time inside the plane that's far from ready for takeoff, and they will only board the plane when it's completely ready.
"Passengers could be pre-seated in cabin pods before the plane actually arrives, ready for integration on the aircraft, saving time and making processing much simpler," Airbus says, calling it the "aircraft pod concept."
One way to look at this is that planes can easily swap out an inbound cabin with an outbound one quickly. Compared with this proposed process, the current way just seems a bit roundabout, where the plane has to pull in, unload passengers and then board some new ones.
"According to the invention, the cabin forms part of a removable cabin module, which is in a state of separation from the aircraft, and docked to a docking module external to the aircraft during the transfer," the patent, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office just approved recently, says.
So why don't airports and aircraft makers make this a reality? It's probably because there's too great a deal of effort involved to make it happen. All the current aircrafts will have to accommodate the design, airports will have to deploy numerous cabin-lifting machinery, plane manufacturers will have to make sure that the cabin stays intact during flights . . . and the list goes on.
It's also worth mentioning that this doesn't only benefit travelers but the airlines themselves as well, as an immobile plane means it's not generating profit.
Despite the difficulty of implementing this concept, this could be a nifty solution for flights in the future, and it seems likely to get off the ground at some point.